NEWS

Plan for Greek civil service overhaul settled

The coalition has agreed on a plan for the sacking of civil servants, it emerged on Tuesday, which will see around 2,000 bureaucrats removed from their positions by the end of June.

Athens has agreed to fire 15,000 civil servants by the end of next year as part of its commitments to the troika. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras chaired a meeting of ministers on Tuesday to discuss the scheme. Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis confirmed that some 2,000 public servants would lose their jobs soon, mainly from state organizations that are deemed defunct. “The initial numbers will be made up almost exclusively from the organizations operating under private law that will be closed down,” he said without going into details of when the firings would take place.

Greece has agreed that it will fire 4,000 civil servants by the end of the year. The government had wanted as many of the sackings as possible to come from bureaucrats deemed to have breached their code of conduct. However, this is a lengthy process as tribunal hearings have to be held and then appeals heard as well.

The list of the organizations that are due to be shut down is likely to be announced after Orthodox Easter next weekend.

Manitakis confirmed that a high-level committee would oversee the departures, which are one of the key pledges that Greece made to its lenders during the recent rounds of talks in Athens. The plan for dismissals will be included in a multi-bill that has to be voted through Parliament by the end of the week so Greece can receive the 8.8 billion euros in bailout loans it is expecting in the next few weeks.

The committee will have a second task, which is to find by June 12,500 thousand civil servants who can be placed in a labor mobility scheme. Another 12,500 will have to join the program by the end of the year.

Manitakis said that by June, the government will have finished the “second phase” of restructuring the civil service, which involves developing new organizational structures for ministries and job descriptions for positions. “This is the most crucial phase,” said Manitakis, who foresees a reduction in costs and increase in efficiency.